(Editor’s Note: Jack in the Box finished market testing Friday and rolled out the brisket burger at other restaurants Saturday, Sept. 2…)
How does a cheeseburger topped with 9-hour slow-cooked brisket, onion rings, a red wine glaze and smoky chili aioli serve on a sesame and poppy seeds artisan potato bun strike you?
Forget about the amazing Wooden Spoon or Vintana at Escondido, newly opened Nick & G’s replacing Ponsaty’s at Rancho Santa Fe, or any number of upscale purveyors of fine dining for that gourmet burger of the first order.
Try Jack-in-the-Box at 1430 E. Valley Parkway.
Jack-in-the Box? What you talking ’bout Willis?
Causing a stir among fast food aficionados — but very hush-hush — the Escondido flagship Jack has been market testing a gourmet burger for about a month now.
As Teri Hatcher once famously said concerning her “breasts” — implants or… — on Seinfeld, they’re real and they’re spectacular.
“The chain known for tacos that barely qualify as tacos and a mascot that makes The Burger King feel a little less creepy by comparison has been testing a new gourmet burger that, on first glance, sounds like it has bitten off more than a fast food restaurant can chew,” said Mike Pomranz of Food & Wine this week.
“A ‘9-Hour Slow-Cooked Brisket Burger’ that also advertises a ‘red wine glaze,’” Pomranz continued, “has been spotted at a Jack in the Box location in Escondido, California, selling a la carte for $5.19.”
Throw in fries and a drink for the combo and the new, highly unusual, at least for Jack, burger offering costs $7.09.
It’s proven to be a winner. “It’s been doing real good,” said a Jack employee who identified herself only as Elia. “We’ve been really busy, and people like it. I hope we can keep it for a while.”
The Brisket Burger fits a trend as brisket has enjoyed some popularity in recent years, according to industry-tracking Brand Eating.
“After a successful limited-time run, it finds itself a permanent fixture on the Arby’s menu,” Brand Eating said. “It’s also seen some time on the Carl’s Jr.’s menu as well as on a pizza at Little Caesars. It’s even been tested by Wendy’s (on a cornbread bun no less).”
The reason for the Escondido market test, according to industry analysts, is it’s proximity to Jack in the Box Inc.’s national headquarters at 9330 Balboa Ave., San Diego.
Otherwise, mum has been the word concerning the market test.
Due to the Brisket Burger’s extremely limited release, reviews of the product are hard to come by, said Pomranz, noting Jack had missed a great branding opportunity by not pairing the burger with Two-Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s.
However, two reviews have been posted on YouTube.
“The red wine glaze is really nice and sweet,” Hernandez said, giving the burger a 9.5 out of 10. “This is pretty good, everyone.”
Meanwhile, YouTube’s Big J Reviews assessed the Brisket Burger on August 16.
“Definitely good,” said Big J, eventually deciding on a score of 8 out of 10. However, similar to Hernandez, Big J suggested the burger could use more sauce.
“That sauce is actually pretty good,” said J, “but I could barely taste it. Hey, red wine isn’t cheap.”
No telling how long the Brisket Burger with red wine glaze will be served on E. Valley Parkway or if it will test the waters at other Jack outlets.
But for now, if you want one, there’s only one place to get it, so eat hearty, my friends on the road to Valley Center.